She would look in the mirror often - did that girl.
Always hoping to see herself and only ever seeing a stranger each time.
Each day she would look in the hope that 'herself' would be looking right back at her only for every day to be another notch in her hurting heart.
She knew she was a girl, she didn't fully understand why but she knew in her heart, in her very essence, that she was a girl and not the boy that everyone insisted she was. No one ever saw her for her, no one ever heard her as she was too scared to speak up.
She died a tiny bit every day that she went unnoticed as the society created prison built around her, she cried to be heard, to be seen, to have the courage to speak her truth. Over time she began to fade as a society created lie was forced into the motions of living, she tried to keep herself from fading by trying to be seen, trying to be heard.
Some days she was seen and heard but only by the smallest measures whenever bullies would call the lie a girl and girly for failing at being a boy and later a man. Those insults were compliments to her and they gave her the strength to hold on a little longer.
Then she had an idea, the lie was using her born writing skill after she had nudged it years prior. If she could just get the lie to keep using the skill with little suggestions, little ideas, then maybe just maybe she could get the lie to create the very character she had in mind. A woman who could one day be developed enough to make the lie listen and let the truth break free.
The lie is now in their late teens, they're struggling with severe dysphoria as the girl, now a young woman is gaining strength and whispering from her society created cage that the lie shouldn't even exist and the lie agrees every time.
It wanted to die, it wanted the pain to end.
It didn't feel real.
The body was all wrong, puberty had been hell for it. The lie knew that the body was meant to develop in a different path, a more feminine coded path.
The young woman notes that the lie is dying from the unwanted testosterone and the ever-building stress of living a life it hates. She knows that time is short if this doesn't work but she keeps trying anyway.
She sees the chance one day and pushes the mere spark of an idea, a woman forced into long life, a woman who ached for death but also live a life free of her long life. She needed this character to be forthright and strong-willed, it was the only hope for freedom.
But it takes time, the lie's testosterone-induced brain fog is making it hard to form the ideas just right so she has to take desperate measures as the lie is dying fast. A failed attempt at a relationship only makes things worse as the body begins to degrade, it's dying. She didn't have long left at this rate and the lie has given up on life, it is poisoning itself by eating too much of the wrong things. If this failed she was going to die before she even got to live.
With all of her strength she reformats and refines the ideas of the woman, she creates two of them, one a contrast and the other the trigger. This had to work or she would end up very dead, she wanted the chance to live, not die with a society enforced lie.
She nudges a thought to write more of the character's draft, she had gotten the lie to join some online thing called Second Life and to create the trigger. A woman called Reina Beaumont.
Everyone there accepts her fairly quickly, even when they know about the lie in real life they continue to address her as female, to treat her as a woman. This gives the woman within the lie all the strength she needs to make this final push.
And it works, she speaks through Reina Beaumont by using the character's bluntness. She speaks to the lie and tells it that they are not male, they are female, they have always been female and that it was time for the lie to end. That if they are ever going to live that she needed to take over before the lie made a final fatal mistake.
The lie doesn't resist, if anything it steps to the side as the society created cage dissolves and the woman steps forward. It takes time though and the testosterone that is still poisoning the body is making it hard for her to do what needs doing but she persists and finally, the body begins to receive the estrogen it needs to function.
For the first time ever the body begins to wake up and begin working, the brain starts to function better and the woman sings in joy with her soul, heart and mind.
She was finally truly free.
She turns to the lie to see them try a rough smile and a nod before fading away completely.
All of her planning, all of her efforts had finally gotten the hormones she needed. She still needed the body to undergo surgery to realign the birth defect as possible and sadly she would never be able to have children despite the yearning to be a mum.
But she was going to do all she could to live the remainder of her life as herself, as the girl, the young woman and the woman she truly is and was always meant to be. Life has to be lived before Death is greeted like an old friend when time is up.
That girl/young woman/woman was me - is me though I'm a grown woman in my early forties now.
It took a lot for me to be myself, to fight free of the years of toxic masculinity that was drummed into me, to embrace myself. I am sadly still pre-op due to the state of trans health care in the UK, I've been ready for surgery since 2016 - since childhood even.
It's been over twelve years since I finally accepted myself and began the steps I needed to take to be the woman I truly am. It's been over seven and a half years since I began estrogen HRT. I was delayed for five years due to a psychologist labelling me as 'insane' for being trans which denied me badly needed support for far too long. It was near six years since beginning my transition before I finally got to begin HRT.
I'm still being delayed while I try to lose this stubborn depression weight. I need surgery so badly.
I've sacrificed a lot to be myself, I've made tough calls and pushed hard against society's genital based oppressions so that I can live.
I've faced so much transphobia, so much abuse, so much pain and still I keep getting back up for one reason only – To be the woman I am no matter what.
Life is short, too short to be repressed and forced to be someone you're not. I've suffered through social conversion therapy, I've been repressed and forced to be someone I'm not and it took so much for me to fight against it.
It is understandable to be scared amid so much transphobia in the world, to feel that it's probably safer to live the lie and be what conformists demand you to be.
But fear must never hold you back to the point of regrets on your death bed or at your hands.
Don't let your life slip away because of those who demand conformity and genital based oppressions.
Live, embrace yourself. For only you truly know yourself and who you are.
Life is short.